Abstract: Modern applications of strong gravitational lensing require the ability to use precise and varied observational data to constrain complex lens models. Two sets of computational methods for lensing calculations are discussed. The first is a new algorithm for solving the lens equation for general mass distributions. This algorithm makes it possible to apply arbitrarily complicated models to observed lenses. The second is an evaluation of techniques for using observational data including positions, fluxes, and time delays of point-like images, as well as maps of extended images, to constrain models of strong lenses. The techniques presented here are implemented in a flexible and user-friendly software package called gravlens, which is made available to the community.
Credit: Keeton, Charles R.